Wednesday, February 10, 2010

III: 4

Chapter 3, Verse 4

“Not by refraining from action
Does one achieve freedom from reaction.
Nobody can realize wholeness
By merely ceasing to act.”

Sri Aurobindo:

“Is not the intelligence of the one who engages in the activities of nature entangled in egoism, ignorance and desire, and therefore drawn to action? Is not the aim to draw the intelligence back, resulting in the cessation of action and therefore the cessation of the desire and the ignorance? According to these points of view, the giving up of works becomes a necessary part, an inevitable circumstance, and an indispensable means of the movement towards liberation. This objection, Krishna immediately anticipates. No, he will say in the next verse, such renunciation, far from being indispensable, is not even possible.”

[The Gita was in part a response to the popular belief of the time that turning away from the world was a necessary step on the path to liberation. In rare cases it may have been appropriate then and may be today, but for the vast majority, working out one’s Karma in the world with the proper attitude and focus brings the best results. In this series of verses, Krishna will describe the proper attitude and focus.]

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